tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 5, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EST
member of lpr 2011. i would much rather hear you speak than joe biden, so thank you. >> that bar is not very high. >> the real question is, from our perspective, from my perspective here out in the real world we hear about all of these investigations by the house and by the senate and all these hearings and all these hearings and all these hearings and nothing happens. at what point, what needs to take place to actually have an independent investigation on benghazi? >> yeah. i think the answer is we are not going to get to the truth, real truth of benghazi anytime soon and there is two reasons for this. the first is the administration truly has something to hide.
the first thing, i think what is indisputable or not perfectly provable in court of law, what is indisputable the entire response to benghazi was framed by the politics t was making sure that the president didn't look bad. that bass the first and most important thing they were concerned about and they never want to admit that. the second thing is, is, they made a decision early on that they were going to play rope-a-dope. you know after the election and the president won, they had opportunity to get the thing off the table, come completely clean, did 9/11 commission type thing, got whole thing opened up. the guy got reelected. they chose not to do that and they will not deviate from that us course. it will be virtually possible and we have been in favor of independent congressional investigation. even if we had a independent
congressional committee it will virtually impossible to get to the browned truth. instead we get what we get now, every couple months get another information, will tell us that something somebody told us was actually incorrect and it will drag -- i don't think it will affect the 2016 presidential election and reason for that because we're not going to see a smoking gun. the people that wouldn't vote for certain people they are not going to vote for them anyway. the people that are going to vote for them, in their minds, people picking on my candidate because they're being partisan. my guess is, you know, this will actually be decade before it cops out. but what has always bothered me from the beginning on this, is not the politics on this is practicality of this. we could learn reallies sons to keep this from happening again. al qaeda is not stupid. al qaeda has learned when something works you go back and do it again. even though weren't directly
responsible for benghazi, they saw the results of that and pr they got out of that. this whole war started with attacks on u.s. embassy. they will hit a u.s. embassy again. what angers me is, that we are not learning the lessons to prevent those kind of things. for example, ed royce has been the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, a great guy. he actually stat down and put together a bipartisan bill on embassy security which is pretty good. passed the house. harry reid doesn't want to vision in to with it. president doesn't want to talk about it, it will bring benghazi up. if you're looking for answers, you may like the movie but you will not give you the answers. sir, sorry. why don't we go to this side, sorry. >> i'm brad. i'm from mesa county, colorado. 2011 lpr graduate and i would like to say, right after benghazi i really considered it a personal affront that the president and the then secretary
of state hillary clinton would stand in front of all of us as citizens and blatantly lie to us about what happened in benghazi and now, we look at hillary clinton as most likely the 2016 democrat candidate for president and who in later testimony came out and said, what difference does it make that four americans are dead. i would like to ask you, from your perspective, what difference does that make to us? >> you know, like i said, it makes a huge difference to us because we don't want more dead americans and more widows in the future and the fact that your, protecting your personal politics is more important than getting to ground truth, so we can make sure we do things right in the future, to me that is the ultimate act of despickability. look, you don't like president bush. fine, i get that. i can tell you every, within a month of 9/11, i can tell you
every single thing president bush did every moment of the day of 9/11. i still can't tell you what president obama did on his day of 9/11. i can tell you this he has not learned his lesson. just yesterday, i don't know how much you keep up with the news. there is incredible crisis going on in the ukraine. so yesterday they brokered this deal, which i got to tell you will not solve any problems but the white house actually came out and took credit for bringing peace to the ukraine which is unbelievable, i mean, the hypocrisy of that is, it is beyond unbelievable and then, this is the topper, then the president said, oh, yeah, and i called putin and we'll work together on this. [laughing] so you know, he didn't learn his lesson. but i think he is dead letter thing. but i think this, you said the most important thing here, right. it doesn't matter whether a candidate wants to invade a
country or not invade. what matters are they a leader of courage and character? we just got an eight-year lesson what it is like when you hire somebody for this job who is not a person of courage and character. if we do that again, well, shame on us. >> thank you. >> james, if 10 years ago somebody walked into your office and said, at the end of this decade the two closest allies in the middle east might be israel and saudi arabia, you probably would have called 911 and said, get down here in a hurry. if a shooting war breaks out in the near term, and people attack israel, could you think we will honor our commitment? >> you know, i think we will because i don't think we're going to have a big choice there
because if israel went down it would lead to such a large regional war of dangers of that spinning out of control are so great. the tragedy is not, okay, obama stands with israel. great. it would have been far nicer if we never had to worry about the war to begin with. and it is not that in the end of the day we'll stand with israel or not. i believe even this president would do that. but the thing is, why are you creating the conditions where we have to worry about this? and i got to tell you, this is the worst, this region has been since the 1970s. it is incredibly unstable. it is incredibly dangerous. and it is incredibly dangerous for us. because if there is a regional war in the middle east, don't bank on it stopping in the middle east. don't bank on it not getting bigger and don't bank on us not being involved in it. look, i tell people in it. everybody i ever met in the military hates wars. military people are the most
risk-averse people, the last thing we want to do is fight wars because we know that everybody loses in a war. they're horrible, destructive everything else. george washington said it right. if you want peace, prepare for war. peace through strength actually works. what this administration does, they gave awe two-fer. congratulations. you got a double for that. they have weakened our military posture in the middle east and we're less able to respond but that is okay they weakened our alliances in the middle east so the situation is getting worse. >> i'm scott shaver with just 46,000 republicans in bolder county, colorado. i would like you to stay in the middle east more and go a little deeper into the iranian situation. kind of frame for us, how you see the iranian situation right now and what you see as most likely scenario over next five or 10 years let's say? >> the number one reason the
iranians want the bomb is because they're not stupid. look, this is a government that is hated by its own people. the iran population is relatively young. they're relatively pro-western and they're relatively over the whole, you know, dress up like a mummy thing. [laughter] they're tired of, they're tired of looking at people in turkey, you know, hanging out and taking vacation and these guys are living in almost abject poverty. i mean the government in the last election, the famous green revolution, the government tried to buy people off by giving them potatoes. which prompt ad lot of calls for death to potatoes. but the fact that you are bribing people with potatoes? i mean, so you're sitting here, looking over how people are living in western europe and in the united states and these guys are offering you potatoes? so the deal is, is, if you have a nuclear weapon, nobody messes
with your internal politics, right? north korea is the poster-child for that. so the number one reason why iran wants a nuclear weapon so they can guaranty will screw with them as they screw with their own people. irony the biggest losers when iran gets a nuclear weapon, the people of iran. they're not going to give that up. and so when you enter into negotiation is principally designed to have them give up their nuclear weapons program which is one thing they're absolutely not going to negotiate away you kind of know where that is going. why do we worry about that? i feel about the people of iran. i think iranians are pretty cool. i think it would be cool if they had a free country but what we really care about, every analyst says this, not just me, left, right, center, every analyst, tells you, the day iran goes nuclear or become as recognized nuclear power, what happens is saudi arabia will get nuclear weapon and turkey will get a
nuclear weapon and eventually egypt will get a nuclear weapon. i don't know if you guys ever saw the movie open range, like three of you, okay, in colorado? all right. you remember the good, the bad and the ugly, clint eastwood? in the old days i had my gun, we stood off. stared down, nobody pulled the trigger. that was the cold war. in cold war it was up versus soviets. they were scared to shoot at us, we were scared to shoot at them. that wasn't cool because it would dough try the planet but that's cool. you're in a region like the middle east where multiproliferation environment where everybody hasn't policy and nobody trusts anyone us. that is the most unstable environment. that was "open range." the hero goes into the town and there are 14 side in town. one person starts shooting and everybody starts shooting everybody else. if you have a nuclear-armed middle east that is the must dangerous situation imaginable. that is the great fear.
but i can absolutely tell you that is where we're headed. nobody has a plan to get away from that. these negotiations will not only not stop the nuclear program, they will insure that the next president will have even more difficult challenge keeping iran from going nuclear. that is one of the, the greatest legacy of this administration. sir? >> ross kaminsky from boulder county and lpr 2005. one of the big things we'll hear in the upcoming primary season, john mccain versus rand paul. how should americans think about what foreign engage amentses, what foreign entertaining fellments are actually in our national interests versus when we should leave it alone? >> right. if we get trapped into choosing between politicians who basically say we'll do nothing and stay home and we'll be the world's policemen, we'll lose. it has to be a prudent and judge
menial decision and based on actual conditions at the time. i have to say something about boulder. i was owls impressed in the stand, when everybody in the world was dead except for 12 people, all the good people went to live in boulder. all the evil people went to live in las vegas. i always thought that was very cool. >> like you said, movies are not reality. >> oy. [laughter] are we out of time? we are. so we're out of time. i want to thank you so much. you've been such a great crowd. really i do want to sincerely, leadership program of the rockies makes me very optimistic about the future of this country. i talk to a lot of you and so amazing with personal stories and you care about this program and the program cares about the country and i always leave here optimistic. thank you very much. >> thank you, jim. excellent job. >> jed, foreign policy analysts at the heritage foundation
discussed recent developments in ukraine, including rush military intervention and efforts to impose sanctions on vladmir putin's government. this is an hour 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. so i'm going to be extremely brief so we get right to the topic. i want to start with a thank you. i want to thank our panelists, chris, kim, michael hammond who tried to put this together on the fly yesterday. i want to thank all of you for coming out. but we thought this is such a critical issue. if you're trying to follow something on the weekend a lot of people were stalking about a lot of things but nobody had kind after chance to catch their breath and have a dialogue. this is see norm news opportunity with three very seasoned analysts, who are looking at these issues and studying this part of the world for a long time and have a deep breath, and have reasoned principled discussion what happened, what does it mean,
where are we going from here and what are our options. i couldn't be more thrilled for these guys jumping in to do this. chris is the executive director at the foreign policy institute. kim holmes is distinguished fellow. long distinguished career not just here at heritage but also with the state department. michael o'hanlon, research director at brookings institute is incredibly well-respected and very knowledgeable on these issues. so i am so thrilled that the three of them volunteered to do this i will ask them each to stick to 10 minutes and we're going to go, i think maybe, kim, chris and then mike. and then i have two questions i want to put on the table. then we will try to get as many questions as he possibly can in before the end of the hour. thank you so much for coming. without further adieu i'm going to kick it over to kim to start. >> thank you, jim. thank you all of you for coming here today. chris, good to see you. i would like to offer a few
preliminary observations what i think the ukrainian crisis means for united states foreign policy in general and particularly on the perceptions of president obama's handling of foreign policy. basically i have two points i will be making. first point, looking at the unfolding of events there and particularly the reaction from the obama administration to what is happening in ukraine, it is possible that we may have reached a watershed in what i call the post-iraq era. for years now we have as a country have been traumatized by the aftermath of iraq war. president obama's entire foreign policy premised on assumption the first order of strategic business was to avoid conflict at all costs and above all do not provoke one's opponents. the idea was that the days of great power rivalries were over. it was a new world. it was a world where diplomacy
was largely divorced from the balance of power. now it is possible that the ukraine crisis is testing this assumption. obama's reset policy toward russia, if you look back and remember how he got started, really rested on the principle of inundoing the tensions as he saw it, with rush that -- russia caused by president bush's reaction to the russian intervention in georgia. in other words it was specifically aimed at undoing that particular event. we should not be surprised then that vladmir putin drew the conclusion we would eventually look the other way if he moved in similar fashion against ukraine. that is probably true. you've seen this in the commentary over the last couple days, that the flip-flops of the president with respect to syria may have signaled indecisiveness to putin but i don't think that was nearly as important as the aftermath of the reset policy.
even after most had concluded that the reset policy was dead, the administration continued to act if we needed russia more than russia needed us. in afghanistan, in iran and syria for example. and we should not be surprised that putin believed he could take a risk of invading crimea give signals sent to him by the president. the real question i think is. this, what has the administration really learned from the crisis? jimmy carter learned after the soviet invasion of afghanistan that his previous assumption about the supposed inordinant fear of communism was not really the cause of the sour relations with the soviet union. he learned that that was not the case. actually had something to do with soviet ambitions. and to his credit, president carter, hello, mike. he actually reversed course in the last year of his administration and carter began the military buildup that ronald
reagan accelerated when he took office. but the question really remains, or the question is i should say is whether president obama will do the same. whether or not he will learn a similar lesson. he has been dramatically diminishing your military strength. so far he has shown no sign he is willing to change course. he is a man that has shown himself to be very attached to his view of the world. he is not known to change his mind very often. and his main interests over the, over his presidency has been mainly domestic affairs. so i would not be surprised if he wants to diffuse the ukrainian crisis as quickly as possible and with little cost as possible to his domestic agenda. so what i actually fear most is that the president obama will not see, as president jimmy carter did see that things actually have changed. i'm afraid he will desperately try to get back to normal as quickly as possible. he may try to split the
difference between his old fears of the world and strategic realitities represented by ukraine. he could very well continue marching down the path of weakening american military power while pretending america's limited options everybody seems to recognize we have, really has nothing whatsoever to do with him or what he has been doing in the world. i think if that is the case, if he does take that path, the situation is ripe for miscalculation and confusion. i could see president obama talking tough one day and offering an olive branch the next. while frankly, that can confuse his opponent more than reassure or even deter them. he has been blowing somewhat hot and cold over ukraine over the last four or five days and also he did the same thing of course over syria. which tells me that he may actually be confused about what power really means, particularly about the perception of american power by other countries. and i fear that he actually does not understand or could knot
understand actually how weak america has become. this could either lead him to overplay his hand on one hand or do the exact opposite in desperation pull too far back particularly if russia continues to escalate the aggression and let the situation stand without not much opposition. that's my first point. the second point which is the underlying context here is that i think we now have seen that the balance of power actually still matters. we've been living with two ideas in the, in the obama era. one i have already mentioned, we really don't need military strength much anymore that the era of great power rivalries are over with. the second one is any attempt to be militarily strong or signal resolve was often interpreted by many of our countrymen as tantamount to wanting to go to war. now, clearly this is not the way russia, i would say also china see the matter. to them, hard power still
matters. they are not terribly impressed by president obama's penchant to apply transactional analysis to international affairs. they don't want or even need to compete with america on a global scale but rather to be the dominant force in their respective regions. this means that territory as we have seen over the last four or five days means very much to them. which also means that hard power means much to them as well. for the past few years the default position of the american strategy has been the kind of minimal listtic realism. as the assumption that our power is relatively weak we really can not influence world affairs all that much, particularly with military power. it is interesting that the position is being echoed in response to the ukraine crisis by many people who call themselves realists and even some liberal internationalists in the wake of the ukrainian crisis but interesting thing is that's not the way the obama
administration is reacting. it is talking of sanctions, it is talking of loan guaranties to ukraine and it is promising other punitive measures against ukraine. so the question is, at least to me, does this represent a fundamental change in the administration's strategic approach, not just to ukraine but to the world? or, is it just ad-libbing? is it just trying to make the best of a bad situation and get through the crisis as easily as it can? i would think that for there to be a fundamental change there would have to be not just sort of a hard-line position and promising punitive measures against russia, that in the long term the change of perception of hard power, specifically the balance of power. i would think that the administration would start accepting the fact that power rivalries actually do still exist and particularly that is how russia and china see their relationship, stratquick relationship with the united states, particularly in their border areas and in their specific regions.
we know which view of history putin has. he does not have the view obviously that secretary kerry would like him to have, so-called modern view where the balance of power was a thing of the past that we only saw in the 19th century. that is not how they view the world and leads me to believe that this is something we should be recognizing as well. i leave you with this. the real question is, we will be going through very specific measures about things that should be done here and we were discussing that and in response to the questions, i will leave some details for that. but i leave you with two thoughts. the short run to me is not as important as the long run. the long run i think we need to restart rebidding our strategic position to signal that american retrenchment is over and this will go a long way to signaling to russia and china and to other country that is this long drift in american power is going to be reversed. and the second thing we have to
start thinking differently about, we need to stop thinking of military power as a metaphor for military intervention. we used to understand very well that the deterrent force of military power. today, much of that has been lost, partly because of the legacies of iraq and afghanistan wars and frankly politically we did not want to spend money on the armed forces but we used to look at deterrent power, balance of power as a way of avoiding war, keeping the peace, not an excuse for using force and that is world view i think we should be returning to. thank you. >> chris giffin. >> thank you jim, for organizing this conversation today. it's a great pleasure to be up here with kim and mike, dear and respected friends and colleagues. we would like to step back and try to provide some general observations like kim did before we dive into the specifics of how to think about the crisis in ukraine.
one of the important points, and this is a rare moment in washington when we're discussing some of the immediate steps and you can see this in the media and commentary from the administration and even among its critics that there is some broad consensus about what we should be doing generally with regard to the crisis in ukraine and the objectives that we should seek to achieve there. my organization, the foreign policy initiative, over the weekend we issued a statement from three members of our board of directors, bill kristol, eric adelman and dan senor. the objectives, i work with the board of directors, they ascribe to the ones i agree with and they are broadly describe objectives most americans want to see here. deter further russian military intervention into ukraine. restore ukraine territorial integrity and sovereignty. reassure america's allies in europe. strengthen nato's defense posture and impose costs on the
putin government. broadly these are objectives most americans want to achieve right now but this particular circumstance i believe presents president obama with a fairly stark choice. ad-libbing was the term kim used. i would describe it as muddling through. he can either seek to mutt dell through this crisis or use it to articulate a broader vision of the role the united states should be playing and what we should be achieving through global leadership at this time. this is important because the russian invasion ever the crimean peninsula, is in my view symptommic of a role in which we see growing pressure against our allies, security partners, our friend in many areas and many regions simultaneously. would compare this moment perhaps to, once again kim mentioned the example of president carter facing the soviet invasion of afghanistan.
would compare it both to perhaps president truman in 1947 looking at turkey straits crisis which was a very specific circumstance to which there were specific measures taken in terms of u.s. military and economic assistance provided to turkey, was also the opportunity for president carter, president truman to articulate the truman doctrine for america's support of free peoples struggling against tyranny globally. similarly in 1979 the invasion of afghanistan was a moment that led immediately to truman's description of a u.s. commitment toward the persian gulf region but also led to the groundswell of the new thinking about what the final days of our vent al showdown to the soviet union that led to its event alcoa laps during the reagan and bush administrations in the 1980s. to speak to handful of examples,
u.s. navy says china is preparing for a short and sharp war against japan over disputed territories. iran is defiant and in negotiations over future of its nuclear weapons program. syria being torns as sunday irby regime of assad who is using incredible weaponry against the civilian population in civil war there. we can see human rights are threatened from the middle east to our own neighborhood, and in venezuela. and in the context of these challenges which range from traditional allies to security partners to countries we are friendly with certainly to persons with aspirations we should support, this is moment where uncertain trumpet will echo resoundingly throughout the world. . .
>> and when you look more broadly at countries like china, the assad regime in syria, iran, they are looking at this moment as a test of american resolve and whether they can engage in similar aggressive steps in the future without facing a strong american response. the great "washington post" editorial over the weekend concluded, i quote, these men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by silicon valley companies. they're concerned primarily with maintaining their hold on power.
i believe the point is true. looking at that challenge there are three immediate steps that make sense. one is to punish vladimir putin and his cronies personally by taking sanctions against them, their persons, their finances that have consequences for their ability to get in the way the benefits of living in a hypocrisy that is the russian federation today. point number two in that regard, the united states has about $40 billion in bilateral trade with russian federation. the european union has a most $500 billion. at the end of the day they have a fairly minimal relationship with russia. this is a point that was expressed very clearly last year. you they recalled was an effort to boycott russia over its treatment, it's anti-jboss, criminalizing certain free speech in russia. no one could find a russian product to boycott because we just don't import enough from
the. we went after their vodka but we realize it's not actually russia vodka we are importing. that's the way these things go but at the end of the day if you're going to see effective sanctions on russia it's going to be with useu cooperation in any step, two tracks, both speaking to the individuals responsible for this particular act of aggression against ukraine. then there is the model provided in the united states which requires sanctions on -- gross human rights violations at home, and we should be speaking to our european allies that they, too, should adopt similar legislation imposing sanctions both toward this particular act of aggression and more broadly the state of human rights violations that characterizes the russian federation today. third, in our congress should look to consider if there's a bill that would take the act
sanctions for human rights violations and make them applicable not just to the individuals in the russian federation, but globally. and whenever we are looking at the types of countries that both abuse their populations at home and threaten their neighbors, these things are, and this is a solution which applies from countries, iran and china broadly, but once again as legislation sitting in congress deserves to be considered. the second audience, our allies, our partners, the people's look to the united states traditionally for leadership. vasser eric edelman who serves on the board of directors of foreign policy initiative has pointed out that the russian incursion into ukraine sends a particular dangers message because with the dissolution of the soviet empire, ukraine at the time inherited the nuclear weapons that happen to be
located on its territory, it reached an agreement by which it returned those weapons to russia as part of the 1994 budapest declaration in which we will quote moscow committed to, ma i quote, respect the independence and sovereignty and existing borders of ukraine. and also to quote, an obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territory, integrity or the independence of ukraine. as it stands this act of aggression, despite that declaration, stands as a very dangerous message to any country that kobe does not have a nuclear weapons program, that by surrendering its nuclear weapons quite literally ukraine made itself vulnerable to invasion by russia. what steps you would take in response to this? there are for immediate steps. one, literally human to human physical engagement. secretary kerry, i believe he is
speaking on television of are coming over this morning, to give this a step in the right direction. it would've been more beneficial if secretary of defense haeckel also visited ukraine and we should see visits by other nato and european union foreign and defense ministers to express their support for the newly established government and territorial integrity, ukraine. number two, assistance that the ukrainian economy is a disaster in many ways, the ukrainian military will require significant assistance as it is supposed of confidence in its ability to defend itself in the future, that for both the united states, nato, there's a need to assess what our ukraine's economic and self-defense requirements, and to expeditiously provide those requirements both through nato and bilateral between the united
states and ukraine. just as an example in 2008 after the russia-georgia war within one month congress passed an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would provide $50 million immediately for georgia, just a down payment on the type of assistance that's required. three, they need to enhance nato's deterrent posture against russia on the possibility of future russian aggression against current nato states, and future nato states, in the case of ukraine and georgia. there's broad activities to be taken you're looking at the future in europe, collaboratively between the united states and nato partners, but this comes to the fourth point which is another one i would agree with kim is the id of the u.s. defense budget, that we are now in the third year of deep cuts to u.s. defense spending. the consequence of these cuts is
that since the president came into office in 2009, we were spending 3.7% of our economy on the base defense department budget. that number is now down to 2.8%. about a 1% reduction is a share of gdp increased spending for defense, which incidentally is the same level where we were on 9/11, 2001. so you can see how far we've fallen compared to what we were just a few years ago. what we are seeing today is harm immediately to u.s. readiness capabilities and to the long-term major reductions to sign the just forces, which when you look at a situation like this in europe, the idea that u.s. ground forces are irrelevant to be able to send a message about credible defense and to reach our allies. deter our adversaries, i think it would be -- is very clear. as a final point in terms of audiences, the president must
use this opportunity to speak to the american people and explain our purpose in the world. a majority of americans now believe that the united states should mind its own business, and a majority of americans now believe that the united states is less powerful than a decade ago. this is not an alley surprising when you were told the united states to focus on nation building here at home. this is not surprising when our objectives even in an immediate war like we see in afghanistan were american soldiers are fighting and dying on the ground, our objectives there are not cleared explained repeatedly by the commander-in-chief. despite them, when you ask them, the majority of americans, overwhelmingly 80% believe the united states should exercise global leadership in collaboration with the talibans. nearly 80% believe we should listen to the needs and interests of our allies. that there is an audience in the american public if the president seizes this opportunity to
explain why and how the united states must lead. and with that i'll turn it over. >> we go from chris griffin on the foreign policy initiative to michael o'hanlon at brookings. i have a double thank you for michael. i bounced around like a ping pong ball yesterday so he is not only a great scholar but he's a gracious colleague. over to you. >> i think your college or editing my daughter out in the hallway, so thank you. it's a pleasure to be here and an honor to be on this panel. i heard a lot of ideas that i agree with and so let me maybe begin with just two broad observations, not so much directed disagreement but a slightly different perspective trying to understand first the broader place we're at with american foreign policy today and then a little bit about what might be influenced mine our list might try to steer them. again i agree with many of the specifics that i've heard and i'm about to get a more detailed discussion of some of them as well so i will say that part for
a few minutes from now. on the broad interpretation of president obama's foreign policy, let me begin with a couple of points that kim made i think president obama should be thinking harder about encrypting but also offer a somewhat different take that he should message really feel that ukraine is a place where he has to somehow show that he is more resolute. my biggest critiques of president obama's foreign policy which i think has been better than some argued, but nonetheless there has been a couple of notable cases that a been growing the last couple of years. one of them certainly is the failed policy in syria. where i think president obama not only is witnessing a very tragic situation but actually should be willing empirically to recognize that he made the wrong call in 2012 when he decided not to take the advice of his advisers and many others in this town and arm the searing insurgency in a more concerted and consistent and serious way. you can understand why he made that decision.
but empirically speaking it hasn't worked well because assad has been overthrown and perhaps even more important the al-qaeda affiliates in the searing opposition have only grown in strength. we were worried about those groups potentially getting some of our arms is partly why we didn't give them bonds. what happened was perhaps worse. let's look at syria and say we are failing and correct that. let's look at afghanistan as chris just mention and let's say that the president owes the country and the men and women in uniform of this country a little bit more positive rhetoric than some of the we are in the this war which by the way don't think we were doing you would wonder what it took us four years to end it because we've been using that rhetoric for almost four years. i would say the president's policies have been better than his rhetoric. we've made more progress in afghanistan and he on many talk about and recognized. when you talk to andy and war in afghanistan and then you don't engaged in an effective policy in syria, it does invite these
criticism that some american foreign policy has lost its resoluteness and its strength. i look at the overall record and i see a better record. this does not to disagree with kim because i think the administration needs to fix the mistakes and then tie this all back into a broader message about american engaging in the world and not just talk about nationbuilding at home. i agree there's a need for a correction but i look at foreign policy in this country right now and i see a president who really is committed to iran not getting a nuclear bomb on its watch. there are different people have different views on the interim agreement that's been signed on the prospects for a longer-term agreement with iran. the president does not seem that hopeful about it but i believe him and we will see if my confidence is warranted, but he will not let iran get a bomb on his watch. i also see the president trying to do the responsible thing in afghanistan even though his rhetoric is not very resolute. his actual policies have been careful and gradual, and in the
last week or so we have seen him basically decide, as i interpreted, not to just implement the zero option because president karzai refused to agree to long-term accord but to tell president karzai, as in, we will do less with you and wait for your successor who we think that want that accord which we recognize will be in our interest. that's the way i interpret that to on the asian-pacific recounts i think we're all in trouble because our collective politics are putting so much downward pressure on the defense budget. we can get into a lot of different debates about who is primary to blame for that and i would personally assign blame fairly widely, but i would basically say we are cutting too fast and i was glad, therefore, last week when secretarsecretar y hagel unveiled his initial speech on the defense budget to see the he and president obama will ask for 26 billion does more for the 2015 budget. in other words, the december deal that was just agree to was not that good of a do. deal but it was better than the prospect of immediate sequestration but it
was not a very good deal and i hope we can actually with whatever kind of bartering and modification needs to happen next, find a way to get most of that 26 billion back into the 2015 defense budget and then find a way not to sequestration take into effect in 2016. knowing that i have good friends in the republican party making the kind of pitches we just heard today, knowing everything hillary clinton issuances going to be not a dove on defense, i'm looking for a fairly robust 2016 presidential race which i hope will we elevate the need for american resoluteness and international affairs. we know there are competing elements in both political parties that don't want to hit that and that they want to do nationbuilding at home, and i understand that argument but i think we need of re- balance on that one as well. so again in summary president obama has a better foreign policy that he himself sometimes acknowledges and he shouldn't actually base his ukraine policy on the need to prove that
america is we engaging. because the stakes are i think are simply too high and the risks of making the wrong decision to hide, to use ukraine as a litmus test for immigrant leadership your nuts fix syria and against the folly of us to be detained -- ukraine on its owners. point number two, this is intended as an attempt to get the worldview of vladimir putin and i don't claim that it's necessary active but it's been haunting me the last couple of days i'm going to burden you with my view. at which the analogy for putin? in american foreign policy to what he's doing now. i've been thinking about, don't worry, i'm not justifying putin and i will come back and say what i don't think it's a good analogy. but he hasn't articulated this but maybe it's been about 1989. because we had noriega in power. we have the panama canal, the
panama canal was something that was very important to american strategic interest. had a lot of americans have been an animal for a long time and president h. w. bush, george h. w. bush solve the kinds of criminality in the noriega regime, a lethal effect on at american serviceman and other reasons including drug trafficking, what he didn't think that government was legitimate any longer so he overthrew it. and perhaps for putin this is an analogy to what's going on now in crimea. here's why it's not a good analogy about we've got to get them away from this kind of thing. first of all noriega had proven himself to be a dictatorial monster. we learn more and more about why yanukovych is a bomb and whose position that yanukovych is the only leader of ukraine but you can make a legal argument but it doesn't hold water. so we've got to get putin off
that but maybe this is part of why he thinks in these terms. secondly, the panama canal get would not be a good one for putin to invoke because we declared from the outset we are going to stick only with a minimal amount of time needed to restore order and allow a democracy to return to panama and that's what needs to be held responsible to do now. very specific point or kyle sager broader discussion for our conversation were about about in a minute. why haven't we demanded food and clarify his intentions. i'm not saying i would believe anything he says, but why do we say to him come you plan to stay in the crimea and all these different locations indefinitely, because what we need to do is force him to either admit that he is thinking in secessionist or annexation terms, or to get them on record saying he will get out as soon as he possibly can them recursively to use an otherwise recognize that crimea is for the ukrainians. i want him to be held accountable to make that declaration because what i'm worried about is not so much
what he's done so far, it's not very pretty, it's a thuggery, it's old school, it's russian chauvinism and nationalism at its worst, but not a lot of people have died and there's no permanent declaration of forced annexation. so that's what i'm worried about, the possibility for this to escalate and i want to get all the tools on the table now so we can use to prevent a worsening of this crisis. my basic view is we've got so much better at applying economic sanctions that we have a powerful litany of sanctions that we can use and we should start thinking hard, as people have begun, we do that. they should be very clear to putin that the world is going to apply sanctions in a major way for long period of time, not just for a few months, if he ceases or stays in charge of large swaths of ukraine, tried to forcibly resort yanukovych about or otherwise punished the ukrainian people.
that's the line innocent i want to se assist sure to drop and wy less about whether every thing that's happened so far has been properly handled. i don't agree with it but if we caget some of undo what happened over the next few months in the crimea it will be a disaster but what could be in the offing might very well be a capacity and that's what i want to focus on today. i'll stop there. thank you. >> i couldn't have asked for better this opening remarks from the panel. it's a great fruitful area to discuss. here's what we're going to do from here. i have two questions and then i have a question, and e-mail a need to ask but then we'll throw it open to the floor so we think about your questions. if you have a question, if you would regime and way to recognize and wait for the microphones of what else can hear your question, state your name and affiliation and ask your question as brief as possible swing get in as many as again. we will try to him directly at the end of the hour. the first question is, we put out our list of recommendations and want to ask about ones
specifically which is probably one of the most dramatic and controversial and maybe kind -- counterintuitive to some people that the u.s. should pull out of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty which was a strategic agreement that was the cornerstone of the russian recent. i think our argument would be that there is no strategic advantage for the training to be any treaty and they withdraw from the treaty would be the most dramatic and impactful statement about the future of the u.s. relations -- u.s.-russian relations which at the end of the day is the most fundamental thing that we have with russia. i would just like to run the panel quickly and digital thoughts about that. >> this is the danger of sitting closest to the moderator. [laughter] i know i give a much better informed answer. i haven't read the full paper. a couple of thoughts come to mind immediately. i don't courtesy the benefits of withdrawing from the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty along two
lines. there is a day-to-day benefit of having the monitoring and compliance provisions of the treaty to provide some insight into russian behavior with its strategic nuclear forces. and number two in terms of, we don't live in a universe in which we have an administration are respected a decision that would withdraw from the treaty in order to retain the option of expanding our nuclear forces are somehow moving in other directions that this admission is to conduct additional cuts. so i don't see the immediate value their, you know, that the argument along those lines that certainly after the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty was announced that president obama reached out in a speech i believe last year speaking to the prospect of additional u.s. strategic forces
negotiate with the russians, which they initially said they weren't interested in, and they should perhaps with this prospect of additional cuts beyond what was offered in the last offer that was ignored at the time. i don't think that's going in a useful direction. a government has no interest in easing tensions, so somewhere in the middle but i don't see value in for the cuts certainly from where we are. >> one of the great ironies of the charge that you're both from president obama and also secretary kerry about not wanting to go back to a cold war perspective on relations with russia is that the focus that was represented by new start was doing exactly that. at the time when it was proposed that we and were asking sort of scratching our heads by saying i that we simply moved beyond the strategic competition between former soviet union, russia and
the united states and yet this was the centerpiece of the administration's approach. so we oppose ratification of the new s.t.a.r.t. to begin with because we thought it was a bad deal. we thought it was lopsided and in russia's favor and we thought it also was basically cover from and what i think was a preference in the administration for the preferred reduction of u.s. strategic forces. they saw it politically and even geopolitically as a way of moving in that direction. so i wouldn't at all be upset if we pulled off, out of it but i would also say that i would add to the mix that russia is, their charges, there's information that russia is violating the inf treaty as well by developing cruise missiles that exceed the range of limits of that treaty. and get you really are nothing out in the administration, hardly anything about that. it's pretty much buried. my point is that this is part of a larger piece. it's not just what we do at new
s.t.a.r.t. but also to let the violations go forward without any protest, that's just one more signal that the united states is not serious about the relationship. >> interesting question but i guess i support new s.t.a.r.t. but rather than get into a prolonged discussion on that, all the points that kim is raising interest is raising are valid i would agree to debate. i would suppose it's an example of the kind of thing that we should begin to put in play when i agree with you on that particular point, the there shod be a clear message to president putin now that your next up is crucial. so far we are sort of teeing up ideas, but if the next step is wrong, some big stuff is going to start to happen in response and i will leave it at that. >> one of the question. the focus is all bent on the russian reaction and what's lost was the conversation we were having the week before, which is the future of ukraine itself,
and regardless of whether putin moves forward or not, this is a deeply troubled -- if you look at their score and had this would mark the update, things are getting better. you kind of have to read the whole page. one of the things you find is that there are 155th in the world and they are 42nd in the region. here's a large country with all kinds of resources and prosperity, and they're one of the poorest performers in the world. when you read about what's holding their score back, it's basically political intervention in the country and rampant corruption. these are series of structural problems, and so now we have the crimean innovation on top of that but any thoughts about how this country began to write itself and move forward in the midst of this confrontation? >> once again, i believe you
look at ukraine come to look at its economy, the largest share of pensioners of any economy in the world. and the initial motivation when the protest begins, to question last year of the close relationship between ukraine and the european union, it comes down to the question of will ukraine move toward the west which will require the type of economic reforms that can address corruption that can address the sporadic state managed economy, or will it move into the russian-putin influence? if the latter happens you don't see progress towards reforms the ukraine olduvai needs. so that is the key question that is being addressed. >> win this crisis first
exploded in ukraine i felt like i'd seen this movie before. the orange revolution had the same players in it. it was the same figures and you had the same corruption and problems in the coming back then that you have no. after the year, the years of since the unpublished not much has changed and i think until ukraine figures out how to get its economy under control, to figure out the oligarchic control is basically just making the economy the private property of just a few individuals, they're not going to be able to get out of this international crisis that they find themselves in. and i fear that what's going to happen is the same thing all over again. is that some of the people that the oligarchs are worried about inside ukraine are worried about their own private wealth, and they may even be sending to people to moscow to try to get some kind of agreement. that may be great news as far as
defusing the crisis is concerned, but that will only mean that you are freezing the corruption in the economy and, therefore, we may very well be seen this crisis continue again in the future. >> i guess i would simply offer that, first of all i'm glad you're underscoring this point, because a good friend of mine, former ambassador to poland lee feinstein just would get these on foreign policy.com where he pointed out at the end of the cold war poland and ukraine copper precise country for less had about the same or capital gdp. the ukraine was slightly ahead at that point and a poland is three times richer per person. it's just to underscore the gravity of this economic stagnation that's been ongoing in ukraine for so long. i don't have a good answer on how to fix it but i would use this argument as one more tool against putin when he tries to claim that yanukovych is the legitimate president of ukraine.
by some legalistic interpretation, sure, you could force that argument down peoples throats. but the point is that yanukovych had lost its legitimacy because of economic mismanagement. what we need now is to great a process that's inclusive enough that ethnic russians feel part of come and serious enough that all ukrainians can feel like to have a greater hope in whatever political system is created either next round of elections, and i don't know how that's supposed to happen, but that's the combined project we should be working with all ukrainians, including ethnic russian ukrainians, and with putin on. and we should dramatize putin was not settle is putting yanukovych back the very reasons you mentioned, including the economic one. >> to underscore the point of the ukraine this year ranks 155. polling is 50 to 100 places higher. i'm going -- i to question online slot with the this out to mike, and then if anybody else
on the panel wants to address, that's fine and then we will just go to the border this is a question from an online, russian foreign minister have cited the presence of russian citizens and compatriots as justification for russian troops entering the crimean peninsula. does this set a dangerous precedent for others in the neighborhood and is there a risk this russian policy will then unrest among russian speaking populations in the region? >> that's a great question and one of the issues i thought secretary was at his best in his speaking over the weekend because one of the things he said is that's a bogus argument, mr. boone, because you at other think you could've done to address the issue of safety of ethnic russians, starting with asking international monitors to go. the implication is if those international monitors report really bad things, the world has an obligation to figure out a step to protect those ethnic russians. at the moment he seemed inventing charges and not
confirm him anyway. so the kinds of measures that john kerry was suggesting i think are exactly the right ones for us to propose if we need to, for example, help ethnic russians in eastern ukraine feel more secure. >> one of the concerns i have is the implications of ukraine and the baltic states. latvian has a large number of russian speaking people inside its country, and the same arguments that could be used that are -- used in ukraine could be used in latvia. and the question is what do we do to reassure the baltic states, poland and other countries inside nato that this kind of new attitude from russia is not going to apply to them? the problem with nato for many years now is it lacked strategic identity but if you look at any of the documents about nato's purpose you will not see any mention or very seldom see any mention or reference to rush at
all but it's been moving away from this direction for a long time, even though for the baltic states and that with a poland, that was one of the main reasons that the joint. i think we have to find ways to be more serious about applying the nato commitment, making it very clear it does apply to the baltic states. so would help the russians believe tha that in the future s is not again but that they want to risk with respect to these countries. >> quickly agreed and emphasize the positive side of the same story, that when you look at the baltic states, why hasn't their territory been trampled on by russia if there's a strong argument is is because of the nato can do we have with them. you look at the future of u.s. forces and nato planning our capabilities, it also speaks there's a very positive outcome that we have achieved through the expansion of nato.
>> so we have four questions in the queue. where's our microphone? right here in the center in the back. >> doug with the afghan american chamber of commerce but it seems to me since the shooting hasn't started, all of a sudden the region has changed and looks like putin has made a blunder here economically, and already we see the russian stock market crashing. our own stockbroker which dipped a bit is now booming again. it seems to me that our real ace in the hole here is economically and future sanctions, everything else really puts the -- it's time to switch to our site. so maybe a real decision be how do we do with this from an economic perspective and just wait him out essentially? >> let me ask chris. >> sure. i agree with the essence of the point to this brings up an early point mike made in his commentary that we should make
ukraine a business district i think the key to this is that we don't necessarily get to choose what is a litmus test when it comes to the united states is perceived. if you look at the points, certainly the ones i spoke of, the ones where it comes to punishing and putting pressure, it really is on the economic side. when it comes to expanding the credibility of our commitments to send a message that further aggression is not acceptable, it comes down to additional investments in the alliance for the future of ukraine and for defense capability. so i think in essence you have the key to it that putin has miscalculated, and again, never prevent your enemy from this calculating speed very quickly i agree and i just want to underscore that. i think this is, the question is if putin makes any further or worse decisions, then i think we
have to come down like a ton of bricks on the economic front. i just want to quickly say that it's the, i think a major bipartisan, by person a congressman in this town to be able to apply economic leverage more effectively over the last 10 years. we have enough debate about what to do next especially towards iran that we wind up not necessarily recognizing that collectively, first under president george w. bush and people like stuart levy in treasure, and then under president obama, we've really managed to provide, and should set in previous initiation we're showing early signs in the kosovo war, we figured out how to target milosevic and his cronies economically. we've got a lot better at being precise and we have very good unity among the western world under both presidents, with recent presidents, republican and democrat. we've got partners who have helped ironically put need help on a couple of issues in regard to iran and north korea.
but we can do this pretty darn effectively and let's remember that that bipartisan acknowledgment is a tool that may or may not be adequate, but it's a tool that is a little more sharply honed than it used to be spent i think the sanctions have already been proposed by demonstration should go forward until russia reverses what it's done. because we don't want to get into a situation where we have essentially a u.s. tacit agreement to what's already happened. so if they reverse the situation that we can look at maybe reversing some of the sanctions but as for being a litmus test, i don't want to imply i don't mean to imply that this is kind of like a strategic showdown with russia, we will go to the mats, sort of military. that's not the case at all. but on the other hand, it is true that other countries like iran and china are watching us and not just russia. they are watching how we handle it, not only how skillfully we
handle it but also whether or not we show the resolve necessary to get the situation changed. >> we have a question down here. >> i'm nikolai, ukrainian journalist. came nearly two weeks ago. for my english i apologize because soviets didn't want us to know english. [laughter] so thanks for your presentation. i have plenty of questions but the main, what's next? despite putin says he will withdraw to markham today, withdraw military forces from ukrainian border, the problems remain the same. i mean, the possible future president of ukraine will be oleksandr turchynov. as far as -- was in jail for two
years and she had a lot in common with putin. so maybe they will be satisfied. the second is the navy is still in crimea. according to the last three countries, ex-president yanukovych, you will be there until 2042. and the second, the oligarchs in ukraine, they took even more power. so i mean, who americans will donate? and the fourth and last but not least, the people is still -- [inaudible] so how would you deal with the new government speak with i do want to say that your english is better than my ukrainian. [laughter] let me ask, kim, his name is on
the book comes we supposed to understand all this stuff. so let me ask kim to put all those together and talk about what's the way forward for the ukraine based on some of the other things he's saying? >> we've argued many times here at heritage that one of the things that was missing in our policy not only tortured ring but other countries in the region wasn't economic reform package. one of the reasons why, i'm ambivalent about the idea of a loan guarantee because i think you'll be wasted so long as they have the oligarchs in charge and they don't fix the problems of corruption. and so we're dealing with a near-term crisis, next couple weeks we'll see what happens with the russians. as i said a minute ago, the long-term if we don't start finding ways either to condition our aid or to come up with a better emphasis on trade and economic reform in our relationship not just with ukraine and other countries, we will always be throwing bad
money at the situation. and so this is a long-term problem, but at the very least they could try to figure out as was the in the index how to get less government control over the economy, to try to to have a privatization program that doesn't end up in, with only a few number of people controlling the economy. and also basic heaven economic liberalization program that brings long-term prosperity. >> just want to point out that it's good to see nikolai. we had the pleasure of having him give a briefing at the foreign policy institute a few weeks ago. he is truly an expert and i would recommend anyone to seek him out. the second point briefly as it gets the way forward. the question, one of the reasons yanukovych rejected the relationship of the eu last year in favor of moving forward with
large part with the russians is because he didn't want to a seat to the condition that went with the agreement to ultimately it will be economic integration. >> we have a question right he here. >> good afternoon. thank you very much for your presentation to my question is, it seems one of the next steps president putin may take or support is a referendum on increased autonomy or independence by the crimean autonomous regional government. question for you is, u.s. foreign policy is supported the autonomy and independence region under duress. south sudan, kosovo. was also supported peaceful independence, other subregions such as montenegro and we would likely in québec or scotland to my question for you is, if there is a successful referendum, by the local population of crimea, what leverage do we have, what
diplomatic leg to we had to stand on to dispute that? >> that's a good question for mike because you raised that issue. >> it's a great question. i'm not a purist on partition but i think in this case it's just too likely that would be a very opportunistic use of a crisis by putin to accomplish essentially a land grab. i think the only way you could imagine it is if the process were to slow down, if it were separated by a long period of time from the immediate problems we're having today, if the motion school, if fears cooled. if ukraine gained full sovereignty of the crimea before any such discussion could happen, if there were plenty of international involvement in monitoring the there is behavior of different parties that wasn't based on failed threats and anything else but they some peoples real aspirations. i think most of us know that crimea has a bit of a different
place in russia and ukraine history than other parts of those territories. and so it's not a legitimate to ask questions but it is illegitimate to try to great a point out of this crisis in a short-term. >> we have a question in the back and then we were, down fund and that may be the last. >> rachel brown, dir. when we overthrew gadhafi in libya, linda said this will put us on the warpath towards russia and china. i would also like to bring up the opposition in ukraine which is is this part of the right sector, neo-nazi or possession, jews are being told to leave kiev by rabbis, violence all over the country. i mean, let's look at the nature of the so-called opposition. number two, the decision by ukraine not to join the european union which is when this whole thing began.
so what is the relationship of that, the economic collapse of europe and the origin of these protests they are nothing to do with actually the leadership of ukraine, but the decision not to join the eu, another support by the united states, by the president for new not see organizations in ukraine. this is a very dangerous situation. it's putting us up against russia. so i would like to ask you, would you we support a nuclear war with russia? >> let me ask -- >> i think i can speak for the panel and say no. [laughter] >> let me ask chris to respond and then we'll go dinner for a question. >> yeah. no. likewise, no. no nuclear war. the question speaks to what i believe is a very important and significant development, which is the role of, essentially that russia, russian controlled media and propaganda in the context of
russia today, that work, and telling the story that's getting picked up in the western media, which you can look at facts on the ground to look at why it's fundamentally not true in terms of, that the opposition that led to the overthrow of yanukovych essentially being a nazi -esque cast of characters, anti-russian leaning in terms of what would happen in crimea and the eastern american control. and if you haven't checked out the way that the media -- the english language access for russian news and the english language, it prevents, presents a starkly different view of the world than the one i would argue that we live in. and whenever angela merkel warned that president putin may be delusional, it was perhaps to suggest that he believes this narrative about the nature of the opposition and also the
nature of the crimean people in support of russians and patients in the region. >> so if we have, i think time for one last question down here in front. in the front row, and this will be the last question and we will wrap up. >> thank you very much. i'm with the voice of america. i think the heritage foundation. i think it is appropriate this debate here, disgusted. i took doctor o'hanlon and doctor griffin's proposal that maybe first we need to pay attention to our defense, and with the heritage foundation support, repeal however stop sequestration and i think president announced -- he did request more for defense budget, i hope the heritage foundation will support it with your collection. the second, the important part i
want to ask is where is the role of china in this whole picture? because this will send a message not just to ukraine, not just to russia, but to the whole world. especially talking about balancing or rebalancing to issue. we have a lot of unsettling conflicts and allies in asia looking at how the u.s. is handling this. and the lesson from georgia kind of put everybody at a very concerned and uneasiness. so would you think that this is a good opportunity for the u.s. to test china in its aspiration of rising to be another global power? can china step in and support us in sanctioning, support us in its action against russia, taking over crimea? because china is important in
the u.n. security council, and they have a meeting yesterday but i didn't hear much from china. can we open the request china to make a statement saying that it's not supporting? and that will be a test for china to assert itself if it is, we will see if it is worthy of a global power. it has to share. >> thank you. that's a jump ball. who wants to talk about china and? >> i'll offer a brief word. i think that it's an interesting question. i'm glad you raised it, and he got me thinking but i don't know that it's realistic to expect a china to be forward leaning on this, but maybe it's a reasonable to elise ask them to consider making some statements that would be suggestive of where they might go if they can get worse. so i'm not sure we can expect china to threaten putin, even at the u.n. but i think maybe china can start to say how important it is
that this not go any further. that kind of veiled language may be a reasonable request, and it would be interesting to see if beijing would consider it. my guess is they probably won't but there are things we could ask them to consider. >> jump in, just agree entirely with mike dr. cantu observations from the points you raise. you mentioned the $26 billion in addition to the budget request that secretary hagel has asked for. i think it's something to keep in mind as look at the debate coming up over the defense budget is if he gets what he asked for, if he gets the extra $26 billion, that still puts us on a trajectory to have the smallest army since the second world war, still unattractive have modernization, still a trajectory to withdraw various forces from the air force. there's a bigger debate beyond this $26 billion is by no means a panacea. a second quick point when it comes to what you mentioned for circuit broadcaster. in terms of the importance of
supporting surrogate broadcasting and any countries, russia can be won but others, where the media is controlled by the government, they're having opportunities to hear independent media voices. >> the details of what kind of sanctions the administration really wants to impose, whether unilateral, europeans are who they would be with. but if they are to go down the road of asset freezes and targeting specific people, there's a long history of doing that at the united nations security council. i have to say though, i'd be very surprised if china would support that effort in the u.n. security council. perhaps we can ask and try it, but i tend to agree with michael. ukraine is not the place to draw the line with china. there's other issues that we have to work with them on. >> yeah, i just, a couple things to clean up before we can been. so there are a whole range of issues here, many of which we just barely touched on. so, for example, is at the end
we got into a bit about public diplomacy and political warfare. the future of voice of america, some of her own public diplomacy. there's a huge information war going on out there that's gotten very little discussion action. it's an important point. there's been no discussion of the cyberwar. we know about the cyberwar with estonia, with georgia, there's been very little press in the media about what's been going on in the ukraine and there is an element of cyberwar and that's interesting. we talked about new s.t.a.r.t. and some of the strategic issues but i think that's an area which we could spend forever. for example, what lessons as i ran take away from this in terms of do they really want to have a nuclear weapon or not? what does that tell them about two people mess with you if have a nuclear weapon or not? and then michael brought up a whole series of interesting, really key foreign policy policies in the united states whether it's afghanistan or syria or relationship with
china, just incredible breadth of issues. the one i really wish we had more time to get into which all three of our panelists, defense issue. what are the implications for us, not to go to war in the ukraine, but really, in other words, what is this efficiency in the united states to defend its own national interest all around the world and not risk playing whack-a-mole, cover my senior interest in another place. i think we can spend an awful lot of time on that and all these gentlemen have an enormous, different interesting ideas. one thing i would commend to you, a paper i just haven't have with me which is our heritage 2014 defense reform handbook where we look at a lot of these issues about not just deleted 26 bundgaard next year but how do you have the sufficiency of military over long-term and how do you afford that and what's appropriate. that's very timely. that's on heritage website. this event which i think really was out to be completely
spectacular in every. >> and just want to thank our panelists so much. in 24 hours this will be up on a website and folks can access video and it's been carried live by c-span and c-span will also be replaying it. the most important thing we have to do is to thank our panelists for forget how to get here today and rearrange their schedules and be so brilliant. so please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >> yesterday senate majority leader harry reid accused billionaires charles and david koch of violating the foreign corrupt practices act which bravest americans are bribing foreign officials. they have denied the allegations. hears and reads remarks along with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. this is 15 minutes. >> charles and david koch are shrewd businessman.
their wealth is nearly unparalleled. not only in america but in the world. the brothers inherited a small oil company inherited this company from their dad. they built it on multinational corporation, it refines oil, makes carpet, manufactured fertilizers and chemicals, makes paper products, extracts minerals, glass, cattle ranch, lots of stuff. and like most shrewd businessman, the oil baron koch brothers are very good at protecting and growing their future and their prodigious fortune. there's nothing un-american about that. but what is un-american is when shadowy billionaires for unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system, to benefit themselves and the wealthiest 1%.
i believe in an immigrant economic opportunity is open to all. and based on their actions and policies they promote, the koch brothers seem to believe in an america where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy. baseless the republicans are in defense of the koch brothers and the fact that they advocate for many of the same policies of the koch brothers come it seems by republican colleagues also believe in a system that benefits billionaires at the expense of the middle class. the koch brothers are willing to invest billions. that investing in billions to buy that america. in 2010, the supreme court opened up the floodgates of corporate money into electoral politics. that was with citizens united decision. since mega- donors like charles and david koch, they have huge contributions.
shadowy children's and so-called nonprofit. it's difficult to tell exactly how much they have invested so far. investigating reporting by some of the most respected news outlet in the country to reveal that the koch brothers funnel money through a web of industry groups and adversarial or positions that are immune from disclosure rules. such as the club for growth, heritage action, nra, and the united states chamber of commerce. we may never, never know how much money the koch brothers are spending to rig the system, to rig the system for themselves. but we do know their investments have paid off. already. in november 2010 the petroleum industry walked right through the door of the supreme court opened and spent hundreds amount of dollars to elect a republican majority to the house of representatives. that republican majority has effectively shut down any help with passing legislation to limit the pollution that has caused climate change. and a republican majority is, in
fact, working to get the most important safeguards to keep cancer-causing toxins and pollutions that cause sickness and death out of the air we breathe and the water we drink. without those safeguards the koch brothers would pass on to e higher health care costs to middle-class americans like having their own pocketbook. so the koch brothers all already seeing a return on their 2010 investment in a republican house of representatives to do what they want done. but they certainly haven't stopped there, madam president. they spent $400 million in misleading attack ads last election cycle. and if you've seen and had recently maligning the affordable care act, or obamacare, chances are significantly that these ads are koch brothers, or one of the shadow groups paid for by the koch brothers. they are groups have sent about
some electing, trying to elect republican senate candidates this year and som some endorse n a short pop in senatorial campaign committees own spending. the koch brothers and other money interest -- our influence the political process for the own benefit that we have not seen for generation. republican senators have come to the floor to defend the koch brothers attempt to buy our democracy. once again, republicans are all in to protect their billionaire friends. not only have senate republicans come to the floor to defend the koch brothers personally, they have again and again defended the koch brothers radical agenda, and it is a radical. at least from the middle-class perspective. senate republicans -- so many different avenues to oppose closing a single tax loophole. they have, senate republicans
oppose closing even a loophole for these oil companies. or corporations that ship jobs overseas. this benefits the koch brothers. senate republicans have asked donors to pay the same higher tax rate as middle-class tax families esso illustrated why warren buffett. senate republicans have opposed environmental and safety standards that might cost the that might cost to cope with other corporate donors a few extra times, a few extra dollars may be. and the koch brothers are returning the favor with huge donations to republican senate candidates either directly or indirectly. senate republicans, madam president, are addicted to the koch brothers. in fact, senate republicans hardly need this and rsc anymore, which for decade after decade was a main funding tool for the republican senate. not any longer. the koch brothers take care of that.
..thers' funding groups can. senate republicans call this freewheeling spending by anonymous donors nothing more than free speech -- free speech. senate republicans say, whoever has the most money gets the most free speech. but that's not what america's founding fathers said. they didn't mean that by "free speech." the founders believed in a democracy where every american had a voice and a vote. this discussion, this fight, isn't just about health care or even about a few hundred million dollars in disingenuous ads. did million dollars in ads. disingenuous at. it is about two very wealthy brothers who intent to buy their own congress, a congress be holding to their money and bound to a radical philosophy.
witness this. senators the home to wealthy special interests, republican senators, whenever i say something negative about the brothers, their radical agenda. by the way, the words radical agenda are not my words. charles koch told brian doherty in the magazine reason about his self-described, his quote, radical philosophy in 2007. these at the same who lobbied against regulation of formaldehyde as a cancer causing carcinogen because it might be bad for their business. the same brothers whose industry ranks near the top of the list of the worst toxic air polluters. the same brothers whose company according to bloomberg investigation paid bribes and kickbacks in africa and india and the middle east. the same brothers who according
to the same report used foreign subsidies to sell millions into state-sponsored terrorism. let's make sure we understand that. may not have said it quite right. these are the same brothers who according to the same report use foreign subsidies, said it wrong again. foreign entities. that is the word. better than my trying to say the other word which didn't come out quite right. according to the same report used foreign entities to sell millions of dollars of equipment to iran, a state sponsor of terrorism. we all know that. be koch brothers already believe they can play by different set of rules. think how an american linked by
the koch brothers would work, they don't care about a strong public education system in america. they don't care about maintaining a strong safety net of medicare and social security and don't care about guarantee of affordable quality health insurance program for every american. that is obvious for what they paid for all over the country. the koch brothers can afford all the benefits and more for themselves and their families. their extreme vision for america means abolishing social security, medicare, eliminating minimum-wage laws, putting insurance companies in charge of your health care and existing conditions. that is the way it used to be and that is what they want running all these ads. their extreme vision for america mean stripping tens of millions of people of the benefits of the affordable care act today.
their extreme vision means allowing the gap between the wages women and men turn for the same work keep growing. their extreme division means giving giant corporations the unfettered right to dump toxins into rivers and streams and on mountains and valleys to give them more tax base when they destroy our environment. we democrats have a different vision. democrats believe the economy is strongest when the middle class is vibrant and growing. democrats believe world-class education leads to world class work. this work is one where people are ready to take on any challenge. right now, madam president, three people for every job available. democrats believe in an end -- a level playing field with affordable health care and secure return for every american
so every american can have a shot at success. i welcome debate over these competing visions. average american's share our vision for a country his success is built on a strong middle class. and the koch brothers no americans share our vision for a country whose success is built on a strong middle-class and that is why i want an honest and fair debate, hundreds of millions of dollars to a massive campaign of deception. they manufacture stories, make up facts, they are angry that i am calling attention to their campaign of distortion and deceit. i am not oblivious to my comments about the koch brothers will cause some controversy. anyone who has turned on fox news leno's they have gone it under their skin but i will continue to shine a light on their subversion of democracy. my republican colleagues defending the koch brothers as they have recalled words of advice stevenson when he said, quote, i have been thinking i
would make a proposition to my republican friends that if they will stop telling lies about democrats we will stop telling the truth about them. as long as the koch brothers continue to spend hundreds of millions buying elections i will do all i can to expose their intentions. >> the republican leader. >> i note with interest the majority leader was hammering the koch brothers again today and i wondered why he left out billionaire tom stuyer who plans to spin $100 million pushing the issue of climate change in the 2014 election and appears primed to rattle the deep pocketed and conservative koch brothers according to the new york times.
the truth of the matter is these american citizens have a constitutional right to participate in the political process. it strikes me as curious that we are going to demonize people exercising their constitutional rights to go out and speak and participate in the political process we would pick out the people who are opposed to us and leave out the people who are in favor of us. the truth of the matter is there are many wealthy americans who feel deeply about the country, who are committed to one side or the other, who are trying to have an impact on the country as many on the left as on the right so i think we ought not to leave out tom styron and he has a brother who is also a billionaire with similar views and will probably try to impact the fall election in one way or another beneficial to the things he advocates. >> at 11:45 eastern today the
senate will hold a procedural vote on the nomination of the assistant attorney general. several republicans are opposing his nomination because of his defense of a man convicted in the killing of a police officer. yesterday in the senate two members, patch toomey of pennsylvania and ted cruz of texas explain why they oppose the nominee. this is ten minutes. >> mr. president, i rise to speak on the nomination of assistant attorney general for the justice department's civil rights division. some americans may vainly recall abu jamal, that once credited college campuses, maureen faulkner, forever remember him as a cold-blooded cop killer who left her as a widow at age 24.
and the dishonest campaign into a celebrated icon for some on the radical left. one of the lawyers who help to promote that campaign has been nominated to lead the justice department's civil rights division. this cannot stand. i hope the senate will not confirm him. let's review the facts. 3:15 on dec. ninth 198125-year-old police officer daniel faulkner pulled over a car in the city of philadelphia. the car's headlights were off, driving a long way down a 1-way street. the driver exited the car and began assaulting officer falkner. the driver's brother abu jamal
was watching from across the street. four i witnesses saw him raise across the street, shoot daniel faulkner in the back and while officer falkner was lined helplessly on the ground abu m jamal shot several more bullets into his chest and face. three other witnesses heard him brag that he had shot daniel faulkner and hoped he would die. when his shirt was displayed the jury saw him turn in his chair and smirk at officer falkner's young widow. it was no surprise when a jury took three hours to convict him of murder and the next day two hours to sentence him to death. gay and instead of letting her breed in peace a group of
political opportunists decided to use this case to further their own political agendas. they fabricated claims of racism, spread lies about the trial and evidence, organize rallies that, amazingly, portrayed mamia abu jamal as of victim. use a celebrity with adoring hollywood celebrities, free mamia abu jamal t-shirts, had his own hbo special and even named a street after him in paris. in 2009, a few years after his murder, the naacp -- before he assumed his leadership role the l d f served as a force of truth and justice for all americans as
of very important well-deserved reputation for having done that but unfortunately ldf representation of mamia abu jamal promoted neither truth or justice. important to point out this is not a case about every accused person deserving legal defense. that is a principle on which i suppose there is no disagreement but the truth is mamia abu jamal had multiple high cost lawyers volunteering their time. adegibilemr -- he was in the words of the ldf's don't website responsible for the advocacy, quote, in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion.
this is important to understand because this duty to supervise has specific implications for lawye lawyers. a lawyer must confirm the lawyers he overseas are honest when presenting facts in a case. the law backs this up, supervising lawyers can be sued for malpractice or sanctioned by a court for actions of the lawyers he or she superviseds how did the ldf lawyers comport themselves under debo adegbile's leadership and supervision? under mr. adegbile's oversight ldf lawyers promoted the pernicious myth that mamia abu jamal was an innocent man and was framed because of his race. there was never any merit to claims of racism. that is a conclusion that was investigated and concluded by state and federal courts. the jury that convicted and sentenced mamia abu jamal to death included two african-americans and would have
included more acceptable that mamia abu jamal himself ordered his lawyer not to seek that for the jury and yet in february of 2011 mr. adegbile's group issued a press release stating, quote, mamia abu jamal's conviction and death sentence are relics of the time and place that are notorious for police abuse and racial discrimination. in may of 2011 two of the lawyers supervised by mr. adegbile traveled to france and went there for a rally on behalf of mamia abu jamal. one of them said she was, quote, over gillette that mamia abu jamal's death sentence was suspended but that he would not have a new trial and could not be set free. the other ldf lawyer described mamia abu jamal as one of the, quote, people who are innocent but will continue to be put to death in america. another event in new york city
that same year, lawyer working for mr adegbile gushed, quote, is absolutely my honor to represent mamia abu jamal. she continued, quote, there is no question in my mind there is no question in the mind of anyone at the legal defense fund that the justice system has completely and utterly failed mamia abu jamal and failure has everything to do with race. mr. president, i agreed that the justice system has failed but it has failed officer daniel faulkner and his family. no one understands this story of injustice better than officer daniel faulkner's will, maureen faulkner pleaded , maureen faulkner pleadeddow , maureen faulkner pleaded, mauren faulkner pleaded with the senate judiciary committee for a chance to testify before the committee as they were voting on the
nomination of mr. adegbile but senate democrats would not allow her to testify. they didn't let her tell her story and instead they voted to send his name to the senate floor for confirmation. mr. president, i think maureen faulkner has a right to be heard. so i hope my colleagues will listen as i read a letter she wrote addressing all of us. gear senators. while i would have preferred to do so personally, i am writing to appeal to your sense of right and wrong, good and evil as you consider the nomination of debo adegbile to be the next head of the civil rights division of the justice department. 33 years ago my husband, a philadelphia police officer daniel faulkner was violently moderate -- murdered by self professed revolutionary named mamia abu jamal. i was 24 years old. most of my friends spend their
summer at the jersey shore, i sat in not hot, steamy courtroom and watched in horror and disbelief as the man who murdered my husband tried to turn the court room into a political stage where he could spew his hatred and contempt for this country and our justice system. at the moment my husband's bloodstained shirt was displayed by the evidence handling, mamia abu jamal turned in his chair and smirked at me demonstrating his contempt for law enforcement. thankfully a racial mix jury selected by mamia abu jamal while representing himself found him guilty. following day they sentenced him to death for the brutal act he had committed. that is when my second nightmare began. for three decades my family and i endured appeal after appeal each router in lies, distortions and allegations of civil rights violations. year after year, judge after a
judge the conviction and sentence were unanimously upheld. 30 years after the fact, my family, society and i were denied justice quince three federal district court judges who found error in every capital case that has never come before them overturned the death sentence. today as my husband lies 33 years in the grave his killer has become a wealthy celebrity. books and social commentaries critical of our country, regularly uses his nearly unlimited access to the prison telephone to do radio programs, has cable tv in his cell and is permitted to hold his wife, children and grandchildren in his arms when they visit. gold loans have once again been ripped open and additional on the law enforcement community in this country by president obama's nomination of debo adegbile. while publicly demonstrating he doesn't even know my husband's
name, mr. adegbile feigns sympathy and caring for my family and me. in reality mr. adegbile was a willing and enthusiastic accomplice in mamia abu jamal's cheating of the just as we waited so many years for. mr. adegbile freely chose to throw the weight of his organization behind mamia abu jamal and he has publicly stated that he would get mamia abu jamal off of death row. mr. adegbile holds mamia abu jamal or remorseless, unrepentant cop killer in high esteem. we know this because attorneys working under adegbile's to provisions to be for public rallies held in support of my husband's killer and openly profess it was an extreme honor to represent the man who put all of baseball but in to my husband's brain as he lay on the ground wounded, unarmed and defenseless. mr. adegbile and those who support his nomination will undoubtedly argue he did not
personally make such statements, he did nothing to counter or stop them. in the end like so many attorneys before him, mr. adegbile's allegations of civil rights abuse rang hollow. mamia abu jamal's sentence was overturned not because of civil rights abuses as alleged by mr. adegbile but because three judges with a personal dislike for capital punishment conveniently determined the wording in a standard form given to the jury might have confused them. debo adegbile might be a competent litigator, through his words, decisions and actions he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is not the best person to fill this important position. certainly there are others with similar qualifications that would be better choices. i would argue that mr. adegbile's decision to defend a cop killer should preclude him from holding any public position. your decision means a lot to me
personally. the thought that mr. adegbile would be rewarded in part for the work he did for my husband's killer is revolting. throughout my long ordeal i have frequently been labeled a racist by many who support my husband's killer because he is black and i am white. i have also been asked to throw my name, voice and support behind political candidates from both parties. in each case i have declined. i have always believed my husband's death and my quest for justice transcend politics and race. from my heart, i am asking you to do the same thing. set aside any partisan feelings you may have and do the right thing today when you vote on mr. adegbile's confirmation. please bear my family and me from further pain. sincerely, maureen faulkner. mr. president, as the justice department web site explains, civil rights division of the
justice department, quote, fulfills a critical mission in upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals. clearly this requires the head of the civil rights division had an absolute commitment to truth, justice. there are many highly qualified americans who can carry out this critical mission. mr. adegbile's record creates serious doubts that he is among them. for these reasons, mr. president, i urge you and my colleagues to oppose the nomination of mr. debo adegbile to serve as assistant attorney general for the justice department civil rights division. note the absence of a quorum. >> mr. president, i rise today to pay tribute to the men and women across the country serving as police officers who protect law-abiding americans. it is out of this respect for our nation's police officers that i also rise to oppose the nomination of debo adegbile to be the head of the department of
justice's of rights division. we must always remember our nation's fallen police officers who have bravely given their lives to serve our nation and to protect us. police officers helped form the backbone of our country that supports the rule of law. they risk their lives every day to keep law-abiding americans safe. according to the fbi, in 2012, 95 law-enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty incidents. and 52,901 officers were victims of line of duty assaults. 52,901. the new york times in 2012 observed, quote, as violent crime has decreased across the country, a disturbing trend has emerge. rising numbers of police
officers being killed. in 2008, 41 officers were killed. 41. in 2009, 48 officers were killed. in 2010, 56 officers were killed. in 2011, 72 officers were killed and in 2012, 95 officers were killed. unfortunately, as byron york noted today the new york times has not reported on the controversial nomination of debo adegbile to head that doj civil rights division. it is out of respect for all of our nation's police officers that i rise to oppose mr. adegbile's nomination. under adegbile's leadership and supervision the naacp legal defense fund brazenly politicized the murder of a
philadelphia police officer, officer daniel faulkner. on december 9th, 1981, 25-year-old officer faulkner was murdered by wesley cook who is widely known as mamia abu jamal. officer faulkner was shot several times. the fatal shot was when mamia abu jamal pointed it the gun inches from officer faulkner's face and pulled the trigger. during the trial, it was made known that mamia abu jamal was a supporter of the move organization, an anarchist group that explicitly advocates for violence against police officers begin a letter to the senate judiciary committee, mrs. faulkner described that during the trial when her husband's blood stained shirt was displayed by the evidence handler, mamia abu jamal turned
in his chair and smirked directly at her. the grieving widow. the jury convened for a matter of hours before they came back with a guilty verdict and a death sentence. that was 1982. fast-forward 27 years to the year 2009. adegbile was at the time the naacp's legal defense fund director of education. in 2009 the legal defense fund began advocating for mamia abu jamal, first as co-counsel. to be clear, mr. president, every criminal defendant is entitled to an attorney. but adegbile's representation of mamia abu jamal was pure advocacy. mamia abu jamal's built was not in doubt. four i witnesses of the shooting. mamia abu jamal confessed and stated in front of three
witnesses that he hoped officer faulkner died. there was significant ballistic and forensic evidence. for example murder weapon was registered to mamia abu jamal and found at the scene with spent shell cases. mamia abu jamal already had a team of high prize lawyers working pro bono who had filed decades of post trial petitions and appeals delaying the carrying out of his sentence. under adegbile's supervision, ldf lawyers and the flames of racial tension. through rallies and protests and a media campaign, all to portray mamia abu jamal, an unrepentant cop killer comment as a political prisoner. for example. a 2,011 ldf press release said, quote, mamia abu jamal is widely
viewed as a symbol of the racial injustices of the death penalty. that press release also said, quote, mamia abu jamal's conviction and death sentence are relics of that time and place that was notorious for police abuse and racial discrimination. ldf lawyers under adegbile's to provision went further, holding rallies and protests. this is advocacy. this is political advocacy. this is extreme and radical advocacy. >> we will leave the senate debate from yesterday on the nomination of debo adegbile to head up the justice department's of rights division. that will continue to be the subject of debate today. procedural vote to move the nomination ahead is scheduled for 11:45 eastern this morning with a possible final confirmation vote to follow. the senate will break between 12:30 and 2:15 eastern with more work expect on executive and judicial nominations this afternoon. now live to the u.s. senate on c-span2.